TGA: Don't Ban Poppers!
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The Therapeutic Goods Administration is seeking to list amyl/poppers and all associated chemical variations as schedule 9 drugs alongside illegal drugs such as heroin and marijuana. Details on the interim decision can be found at https://www.tga.gov.au/book-page/13-alkyl-nitrites however a final decision may not come until later in 2018.
For decades gay men and receptive partners have relied on amyl/poppers to comfortably enjoy sex, and decades of research on the effects of poppers have shown that the negative effects are minimal and contained - amyl/poppers are not a drug of dependance or addiction and result in little harm. The TGA has proven capable of regulating Viagra (a comparably dangerous substance) for the benefit of active partners, we believe the TGA should acknowledge the need for poppers and regulate the substance for safe use by receptive partners. Poppers have been used safely for decades - its use should be legitimised not criminalised.
The reasons stated by the TGA for this listing do not justify the criminalisation and control of adults engaging in consensual and considered behaviour that is accepted in many other jurisdictions around the world - this is overreach of the nanny state. In 2016 the UK Government attempted to ban amyl/poppers however the bid was unsuccessful when the justifications were put under scrutiny - we believe that the same findings can be made in Australia and that common sense may prevail and the listing of these substances as schedule 9 not occur. The UK Government Advisory Body on the Misuse of Drugs found the use of poppers was ‘not seen to be capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a societal problem.'[i]
You can help us further by making your own submission to the TGA before October 11, you can do that at https://www.tga.gov.au/scheduling-decision-interim/publication-interim-decisions-proposing-amend-or-not-amend-current-poisons-standard-september-2018#how
You can see a thoughtful example of a submission on the poppers ban at this blog post by health researcher Daniel Reed, https://badblood.blog/2018/09/13/last-chance-to-challenge-poppers-ban/
You should also contact your local MP and alert them to this overreach and ask them to stand up for your right to access and use poppers.
Finally, you can contact the Hon Greg Hunt MP, the federal Minister for Health and let him know about how this ban would affect you and why you believe this ban would be ineffective, email Minister Hunt at Greg.Hunt.MP@aph.gov.au.
A ban on amyl/poppers and a listing of the substances as a schedule 9 drug will disproportionately affect gay men and queer Australians - overnight an entire class of law-abiding adults will be regarded as criminals.
We ask that the TGA does not criminalise the sex lives of gay men and queer Australians that seek to have comfortable, consensual sex in the privacy of their own homes with the assistance of amyl/poppers, we ask that the TGA ceases all action to further restrict the use of or access to amyl/poppers in Australia.
[i] Home Affairs Committee, Psychoactive Substances (report), London: Stationery Office, 23 Oct 2015, p. 14 https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmselect/cmhaff/361/361.pdf
Further resources and arguments can be found at:
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